Monthly Archives: October 2021

Walking In Wisdom

One of the greatest disparities between people today and every other generation in history is the amount of knowledge that is so readily available. In the past, knowledge was handed down from books and elders. Today, the internet has everything you need to know. I’ve used YouTube to learn how to do mechanical work on my car, cook dinner, learn about history and so much more. Living in the age of the internet has definitely increased people’s knowledge.

What it hasn’t done is increase wisdom. I believe because we have forgotten the difference between the two. Knowledge puffs up, but wisdom builds up. Since time began, wisdom has been passed down from elders. With all the knowledge available, we have forgotten to walk with the wise to gain wisdom. God’s desire is that you and I grow in wisdom. Remember, it was the Tree of Knowledge that brought sin into the world. God isn’t against us being knowledgeable, but He understands that knowledge without wisdom is dangerous.

Here are some Bible verses on wisdom. 

1. Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.
Proverbs 28:26 NLT

2. Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.
James 1:5 HCSB

3. Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do. Whatever else you get, get insight.
Proverbs 4:7 GNT

4. Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.
Job 12:12 NLT

5. He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise, But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm.
PROVERBS 13:20 AMP

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The Quiet Place

I jokingly refer to Egypt as the land of a thousand car horns because Egyptians use the horn instead of a blinker. I once tried to count how many honks I heard in a ten second span, and couldn’t do it. There were times when I just wanted some peace and quiet. To get away from the noise, I would rent a sail boat and have them take me to the middle of the Nile. It was my little quiet place where I could stop and think as I watched the sun set behind the pyramids.

Where is your quiet place? We may not love in the land of a thousand horns, but we live in a noisy world. There are so many distractions in our lives that it’s hard to find that place of serenity. It’s that place where our phone isn’t buzzing, kids aren’t vying for your attention, social media doesn’t exist, and no one bothers you. We all need that space in this world or we’ll go crazy!

In Psalm 27, David found it. He wrote, “When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool. I’m asking GOD for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet. That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic” (MSG). David found his quiet place in spending time with God.

Each of us needs to set aside time in our day to spend time with God. We need it to keep our perspective so we can remain calm and cool no matter what’s happening in our lives. That quiet place reminds us that God is in control and that He’s got you. Resting in His presence quiets the fears and doubts of the unknown our lives. His Word gives us the hope and encouragement we need. If you’re there right now, take some time to find that quiet place in Him. You’ll be glad you did.

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Seeking God’s Guidance

I’m a pretty spontaneous person. A friend could show up and ask if I wanted to go on a road trip. I’d grab a few things, toss them in a backpack and be ready to go in about ten minutes. It might be a few hours later before I realized I forgot something or realized I had a prior commitment that I had forgotten about. Meanwhile, I have friends who given the same circumstance would not be able to make a decision to go on the road trip for a couple of days. They’d need to know exactly where the trip was going, where they would be staying, when they were coming back, etc. It might take them a couple of days to decide if they were going. If they did decide to go, they would have looked at everything from all the angles before committing.

In 1 Kings 22, King Arab asked King Jehoshaphat to go to war with Romath Gilead. Jehoshaphat jumped at the opportunity, but then thought better of it and wanted to get God’s blessing first. They got about 400 prophets together and asked them. They assured the kings of God’s blessing and victory. Jehoshaphat wasn’t convinced. He asked if there were any more prophets. They told him there was one, but he always gives bad news. Jehoshaphat wanted to hear what this prophet Michaiah would say. Michaiah told them they would be defeated and die. Ahah threw him in prison and the kings decided to go to war anyway. They were defeated and Arab was killed.

Galatians 5:16 says, “But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts]” (AMP). When it comes to making big decisions, we need to be less spontaneous and more deliberate in seeking God’s guidance. Not only that, we need to follow His leading even when it conflicts with our own desires. The Holy Spirit is constantly prompting us and speaking to us. He warns us of temptations and sin. If we hear or feel His promptings and ignore them, we are choosing to be led by our flesh instead of God. If we want to live a Spirit led life, we must habitually seek Him, listen to His guidance and follow it. When we do, we open the doors to His blessings and live the life we were created to live.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

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Rivers Of Living Water

When I was 18, I was blessed with a camping trip to the Canadian Rockies with my brother and some friends. We stopped along the way to see the sights. One of them was the Continental Divide. There was a river that broke into two parts. For the first time in our lives, we saw a clear water river. We were more amazed by that than the divide. We all ran down to the water, cupped our hands and started drinking it. Our chaperones tried to stop us, but we couldn’t help ourselves. The water was cold and refreshing, and of course clear and moving, which meant clean in our minds. I’ll never forget that experience.

In John 7, Jesus was in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast Of Tabernacles. On the last day of the feast, which was the most important one, He began to shout into the crowd. Verses 37-38 say, “All you thirsty ones, come to me! Come to me and drink! Believe in me so that rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!” TPT They must have been physically thirsty from all the feasting, but Jesus was referring to their spiritual thirst. He not only wanted to satisfy that thirst, but to also produce in them, and us, rivers of spiritual water to quench the thirst of people around us.

We all have rivers of water flowing from us. Is yours crisp, clean and refreshing or is it polluted? Does your river make people want to come and drink? Most of us live such busy lives that we forget to check the quality of the water that’s flowing out of us. We must make sure that the source is the Holy Spirit rather than ourselves. He gives fresh water that’s full of revelation, healing and restoration. When those flow from our lives, people want to be around us. They want to drink deeply from that river because it satisfies something deep in their spirit. It will then lead them to the source of that river and then they too will have a river bursting forth from their inner most being satisfying the thirst of people around them.

Photo by Tim Peterson on Unsplash

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Showing Your Wounds

Earlier this year I was asked to share my testimony of God redeeming me from hitting rock bottom in life. I was nervous about opening up and sharing what I went through because I don’t talk about it much. Our church played the video during each service on Easter. For the next several weeks I had person after person come up and thank me for being vulnerable enough to share. By opening up the scars in my life and making them visible, God was able to bring healing to some people, build faith in others and encourage even more. I had hidden the scars because of the pain and shame they represent in my life, but God uses those things to help others with their trust in Him.

In Luke 24, two men were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus when a third joined them. He asked why they were sad, and they explained that Jesus had been crucified. Then the other man explained how the Torah pointed to a suffering Messiah before revealing Himself as Jesus. He then disappeared and showed up in Jerusalem to meet with the disciples. In verses 39-40 Jesus said, “‘See my pierced hands and feet. See for yourselves, it is I, standing here alive. Touch me and know that my wounds are real. A spirit does not have a body of flesh and bone as you see that I have.’ Then he showed them his pierced hands and feet and let them touch his wounds” (TPT). When He did that, they believed and even Thomas got rid of his doubt.

What wounds have you been keeping hidden? As painful and embarrassing as they may be, they posses the power of freedom, healing and faith in them. By being vulnerable enough to share your scars with others, you let them see that it’s possible to survive what you went through. You show them that God can heal and bring redemption. Revelation 12:11 says we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Don’t let shame and fear keep you from allowing someone else to overcome the same things God brought you through. Your scars are powerful reminders of what God can do. Open them up and let someone touch your wounds. The more you do it, the less painful it is for you. In fact, it becomes empowering for you and others.

If you’d like to see the video of my testimony, click here.

Photo by Krzysztof Maksimiuk on Unsplash

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Being A Child Of God

If this video fails to play, click here.

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Recognizing Spiritual Battles

When someone has one thing go wrong after another, I’ll usually ask them, “Have you considered that these may be spiritual attacks that are showing up in the physical?” I’ve learned that spiritual warfare has a way of presenting itself as a physical attack. If we are only fighting in the physical, we will never get the result we need. It’s like washing your car without putting gas in it and expecting it to run because it’s clean. You can’t just take care of the outside. Fighting a spiritual battle in the physical alone is just like that. If you’re going to win, you’re going to have to put some gas in the tank.

We all know the story of David and Goliath. This is a perfect example of a spiritual battle that showed up in the physical. Saul and his men were just looking at the physical side of the battle and were terrified. They were outgunned. David immediately recognized it was spiritual and wanted to fight. In 1 Samuel 17:32 David told Saul, “Your Majesty, no one should be afraid of this Philistine! I will go and fight him” (GNT). Saul tried to put his armor on David, but physical armor is pointless in a spiritual battle.

When David stepped onto the battlefield, he said, “You are coming against me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the Israelite armies, which you have defied.” How did he win? He fought spiritually through the name above all names, he spent time worshiping before the battle and he spent time in prayer. God gave David the victory to show that He is able to save His people physically and spiritually. We have to be willing to stand on the physical battlefield with spiritual authority and fight with the spiritual weapons we’ve been given.

Photo by Aaron Thomas on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Intentional Encouragement

Have you ever been around someone who makes you better at something? Or someone who has the gift of encouragement? People like that seem to draw out the best in us. They make us pay attention more, do more and give a better effort. I’ve had a few people like that in my life. Each time you walk away from them you feel like you’re better for just having been with them. I always walk away from those conversations wanting to be like them and praying that God would help me to. I think of the John Maxwell quote where he says that we are either a plus or a minus to everyone we meet. I always want to be a plus, but I’ve learned it takes intentionality to do that.

David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 18 had the kind of relationship where it was mutually beneficial. From the get go these two were around each other. They were both warriors in their own rights. Johnathan was the kings son and David was a shepherd. Even though they came from different worlds and there was a financial difference, they were still able to add value to each other. Jonathan was willing to give up his place as king for David. They had a serious bond that many of us need in our life. I believe bonds like that start with us believing we have something to bring to the table that’s beneficial to others.

In Romans 1:12, Paul writes to believers, “When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours” (NLT). We all want to be encouraged by someone else, but we need to remember that we have the power to be an encouragement to someone no matter how highly we esteem them because they need encouragement too. Look around you today as you go about your business. As God to open your eyes to see people who need encouragement. Then be bold and intentional about adding value and encouragement to them. Don’t wait for someone to be an encourager to you first. Step out in faith and encourage someone, then watch how you will be encouraged too. You have value that you can add to someone’s life today. Don’t hold back. Give it away like you’re made of it.

Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

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Your Daily Bread

In Exodus 16, the Israelites were in the desert on the way to the Promised Land. They were tired and hungry, so they began to complain. In verse 4, the Lord said, “Now I am going to cause food to rain down from the sky for all of you. The people must go out every day and gather enough for that day. In this way I can test them to find out if they will follow my instructions” (GNT). For the rest of their time in the wilderness, the people went out every day to get manna from Heaven, taking only what they needed. God did not fail to give them their daily bread, but it was up to them to go get it.

In John 6, Jesus fed the 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread and two fish. Everyone had more than enough to eat. Because it was late, many stayed the night there. That night, the disciples went across the Sea of Galilee, and were hit with a storm. Jesus went to them walking on water. The next morning, the people who had been fed were looking for Jesus. When they found him, they asked for another miracle. Jesus wanted them to trust in Him for the Bread of Life. They were stubborn and brought up that Moses fed the people every day in the wilderness. Then Jesus reminded them it was God who provided the bread, not Moses. He went on to say, “I am the Bread of Life. Come every day to me and you will never be hungry. Believe in me and you will never be thirsty” (TPT).

God cares more for your spiritual condition than your physical one. Yes, He cares and provides for our physical needs, but it’s the eternal needs that matter most. Just like our physical body needs sustenance, so does our spirit. Jesus is inviting you and I to meet with Him daily for the manna He provides for our spirit. We can’t be like the people in the Old and New Testaments who are only looking for the temporary things from God that meet our immediate needs. He wants to give you so much more, but it requires you to set aside time to go get it every day. You wouldn’t neglect your physical hunger, so don’t neglect your spiritual hunger. Jesus is waiting for you with your daily bread right now. Ask Him to feed your spiritual hunger and thirst today, then listen for His voice. Taste and see that the Lord is good today. He is the Bread of Life.

Photo by Tommaso Urli on Unsplash

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Honoring God’s Presence

I take a spiritual growth assessment a couple of times a year to get a snapshot of where I am. It helps me to visualize the different aspects of my disciplines, see where I’m gaining ground and where I’m losing ground. I’ve noticed when certain disciplines, like listening in my prayer time, are low, there are fewer experiences with God. There’s a direct correlation between my listening to His voice and experiencing His power and presence in my life. If I want more of it, I have to make time to listen instead of just talking through that time to Him about my needs. Listening is a great way to honor God’s presence.

In 1 Samuel 3, Eli was the High Priest of Israel. He was their spiritual leader, but the first verse says, “Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon” (NLT). The reason why the messages and visions were rare is because Eli had quit honoring God’s presence. He no longer slept in the tabernacle tending to the candlestick, he allowed his sons to steal God’s offerings and turned a blind eye to their promiscuity. God had enough of it and spoke to Samuel a prophetic message of how He was going to remove Eli and his sons from their positions.

In Matthew 13:57-58 it says, “Then Jesus told them, ‘A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.’ And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.” Our belief and honor have a lot to do with how much we experience the power of God in our life. If it’s been a while since you’ve heard God’s voice or experienced Him in a real way, take a close examination of your life. Are you honoring Him in all aspects of your life? Have you been relaxed on your spiritual disciplines? When we honor God, He shows up in our life in real ways.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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